New Delhi: Even as Quad, a grouping of US, India, Australia and Japan is increasingly gaining currency, US has said it is an “alignment of democracies” and more common activities are on the anvil when it comes to it.
In response to a question by WION at a briefing for reporters, a senior US administration official said, “Regarding the next level of the Quad, because the Quad is an informal arrangement – it’s an alignment of democracies in the Indo-Pacific – there are many different dimensions in which it can grow and expand, and more – all activities are on the table, and meetings among officials in different places and at different levels and with different subject matter focuses.”
Further, he said, “So I think all of us are open to additional cooperation, coordination, and common activity. And I expect that the next year will see even more alignment of activities among the four countries in the Quad, and hopefully those that will bring in other like-minded nations as well.”
Earlier this month, the Quad Foreign ministers met in Tokyo which was the second such meeting in the past one year. The grouping is seen with a lot of suspicion by Beijing, which sees it as anti-China grouping calling it “Asian Nato”.
Asked about any plans for a summit-level Quad meeting, US administration officials said, “Regarding a Quad summit, no, there are no plans for that in the immediate short term, but anything could happen in the future. “
The quad meeting, India inviting Australia for Malabar exercises in the Indian ocean in November and the visit of US secretary of state and defence to New Delhi for 2+2 dialogue come amid increase Chinese aggressiveness.
On next week’s 2+2, a senior state department official said, “The 2+2 ministerial will serve as a capstone to review our many accomplishments as well as lay down next steps for the U.S.-India Comprehensive Global Strategic Partnership.”
Four major themes at this year’s 2+2 will be, global cooperation, which includes public health collaboration, economic cooperation, which include partnership on energy and in space, people-to-people ties and defense and security ties.